PracticePeople In PracticeMarchFirst files for bankruptcy

MarchFirst files for bankruptcy

Beleaguered internet consultancy MarchFirst filed for Chapter 11 US bankruptcy protection soon after the Nasdaq Stock Exchange halted trading in its shares.

Nasdaq later requested additional information from the company. According to court documents, MarchFirst listed assets and debts of greater than $100m (£69m) each.

The company has battled against a series of setbacks in recent months, including the sudden departure of executives, gloomy financial results and several rounds of layoffs.

Last month, it announced the resignations of chief executive Robert Bernard, chief operating officer Thomas Metz and executive vice president Joseph Bong.

MarchFirst, which was created by the merger between management consulting company Whittman-Hart and web consultancy USWeb/CKS, employs roughly 6000 people with numerous offices scattered across the US and overseas, including an office in London.

Toby Corey, former president of USWeb/CKS-MarchFirst, left to pursue other interests, including working with USWeb/CKS founder Joe Firmage at IntendChange, a consulting company for internet startups.

Firmage had left his position at USWeb/CKS to continue advancing his belief that much of the world’s technological advances had come from alien intelligence.

Just last month, MarchFirst posted a wider than expected loss in its fourth quarter, and lowered its sales estimates for the first quarter of fiscal 2001. Since November 2000, it has laid off about 30% of its workforce, or 2100 employees, as it has battled to reach profitability.

On 2 April, corporate business software maker Divine said it signed an agreement to acquire several of MarchFirst’s assets, including 20 offices and its SAP consulting practice, in a deal valued up to $120m (£84m). Most of the offices Divine agreed to buy were initially owned by management consulting company Whittman-Hart.

MarchFirst also said it is shuttering its Australian operations as it continues to weigh up other financial options.

At one time, the company had five UK offices, four of which were in London.

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